News

Poster: Parasitism of soybean aphid in Minnesota, 2011 to 2021

Parasitism of soybean aphid by Aphelinus certus in Minnesota, 2011 to 2021, by Jonathan Dregni, Pamela Rueda-Cediel, Nicole Szajner, Joe Kaser, James Miksanek, Kelton Welch, Carl Stenoien, Robert Koch, George Heimpel. Presented to the 2022 conference of the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America.

Soybean aphid was first detected in North America in the year 2000, and rapidly became the most costly pest of soybean, prompting extensive insecticide use. The parasitoid Aphelinus certus was first detected in Connecticut in 2004 and by 2011 it was found in Minnesota;  since establishment this parasitoid has been widespread including in neighboring states even at low aphid densities. Minnesota has shown higher aphid densities than other states in the region, which makes this an excellent place to study the dynamics of aphid biological control. Even in Minnesota the aphid has not regularly exceeded the spray threshold in the past 6 years, and we explore whether this can be attributed to the parasitoid. 

Poster: Thelytoky cured with antibiotics

Hyperparasitoids on soybean aphids in North America: thelytoky in the hyperparasitoid Alloxysta brevis cured with antibiotics, by J.S. Dregni, A. Casiraghi, M. Ferrer-Suay, G.E. Heimpel. Presented to the Entomological Society of America, 2019.

Poster: Hyperparasitoids in North American soybean fields.

Parasitoids in North American soybean fields: the effect of neonicotinoid seed treatments and hyperparasitism on soybean aphid biological control, by J.S. Dregni, M. Ferrer-Suay, K, Welch, J.M. Kaser, and G.E. Heimpel. Presented to the Entomological Society of America, 2018.

IPM Podcast Series for Field Crops: When Insects Take Care of the Pest Control for Us

As part of the IPM Podcast series, Anthony Hanson interviewed George, Jonathan, and Carl on the effectiveness of the parasitoid Aphelinus certus in the biological control of soybean aphid. Biological control can be an essential part of integrated pest management, and we may be able to find ag-practices that increase aphid control by this parasitoid. We reported low aphid numbers in the 2019 growing season, with A. certus tracking the aphid even at low densities.

High Hyperparasitism of Cotesia rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Minnesota and Massachusetts

Weis, J.J., Gray, H.L., and Heimpel, G.E. 2016. High Hyperparasitism of Cotesia rubecula (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Minnesota and Massachusetts.  Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 89(4):385-389. https://doi.org/10.2317/0022-8567-89.4.385

Balancing selection maintains sex determining alleles in multiple‐locus complementary sex determination (Evolution)

Weis, J. J., Ode, P. J. and Heimpel, G. E. (2017), Balancing selection maintains sex determining alleles in multiple‐locus complementary sex determination. Evolution, 71: 1246-1257. doi:10.1111/evo.13204

 

2017 Publications

Conura

The Heimpel lab published the following three papers during 2017 in addition to the two Philornis papers described below. 

Balancing selection maintains sex determining alleles in multiple‐locus complementary sex determination
Weis et al. 2017 Evolution

Host specificity of Aphelinus species collected from soybean aphid in Asia
Hopper et al. 2017 Biological Control

Invasive Parasites and the Fate of Darwin's Finches in the Galapagos Islands: The Case of the Vegetarian Finch (Platyspiza crassirostris)
Heimpel et al. 2017 Wilson Journal of Ornithology

Two new papers on Philornis parasitoids

Conura annulifera.

Two new papers on Philornis parasitoids are now published! In the first, we report the discovery of Brachymeria philornisae (a species new to science) attacking Philornis trinitensis in Tobago and in the other we report lab and field data on the Philornis specialist Conura annulifera from mainland Ecuador.

Natural History Award

James Miksanek received a Natural History Award funded by the McKinney Fellowship from the Bell Museum of Natural History. This generous award will support fieldwork investigating the non-target effects of an introduced parasitoid wasp on aphids in Minnesota prairie ecosystems.

Biological Control book now available

Biological Control title=

The book 'Biological Control: Ecology and Applications' by George Heimpel and Nick Mills is now out!  Published by Cambridge University Press.  

 

 

Dr. Matt O'Neal visits from Iowa State University

Kelton Welch, James Miksanek, Becky Boulton, Matt O'Neal, George Heimpel, and Jonathan Dregni.

Dr. Matt O'Neal presented a great seminar to the Entomology Department on pollinator conservation, and visited our lab. We had a relaxing evening at the Loring Pasta Bar, with good conversation and excellent live music.